Picture this: You’re sitting in a cozy, albeit aged and weathered movie theater. You may be alone, or you may have your favorite movie-going buddies in tow. The movie you are about to experience is the penultimate end to a decade-long fandom you’ve garnered for X-Men, in particular Wolverine, a character you feel like by now, you know so well.
The lights dim, the movie is about to start, and out of nowhere, Hugh Jackman appears in the flesh to surprise your audience. It’s a dream fans of any franchise fantasize about, and for the AMC Manhattan theaters in New York, the dream became a reality.
Deadline is reporting that on Thursday night, Hugh Jackman made a surprise appearances at Lincoln Square 13, Empire 25 and Village 7 to thank the fans for coming out and supporting the preview screenings for Logan. The surprise was kept tightly under wraps, and fans were thrilled to see the hero, especially in the wake of his farewell performance as the Wolverine character.
Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for 17 years, starting with 2000’s X-Men, and starring or guest appearing in other films in the franchise; including X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), X-Men: First Class (2011), The Wolverine (2013), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Though Jackman is now a staple in the X-Men universe, there was a time where another actor was slated to play Logan. Dougray Scott, known for his work in Ever After: A Cinderella Story and Hitman, was originally slated for the role. However, when Scott’s shooting schedule for Mission: Impossible II would not align with the production for X-Men, Jackman was offered the role, and the rest is history.
Jackman’s dedication to the role of Wolverine, including his infamously rigorous workout routine matched with his stellar acting chops, has had fans marveling for years. Audiences have enjoyed watching Jackman progress in his career outside of the X-Men franchise too, with the actor receiving a Best Actor Oscar nod for his role as Jean Valjean in 2012’s Les Miserables. Now with his buzz-worthy performance in Logan, fans are excited to see what he will do next.
Logan has already garnered $9.4 million during its Thursday night previews and is predicted to take home $170M worldwide during opening weekend. Critics and fans alike are praising the film, directed by James Mangold, for its unique approach to the mutant’s final bow. The film take its cue from the old western, Shane (1953), and aims to give a familiar feel to a fading superhero. In the movie, we are introduced to a new young mutant, X-23, which mimics the relationship between Shane and Joey in the old Hollywood classic. Whether the franchise will continue with the new young mutant who debuts in Logan, remains to be seen.